I love listening to Bible teachers. It might be on the radio or a podcast. I grow and learn every time I turn on one of these teachers. I also love reading books, blogs and articles that pertain to anything I am obsessed with at the moment. I doubt you could even guess my obsession right now, but that is something I will save for a future post. I remember when I started going to church while in high school and I was introduced to some different Bible teachers on the radio. I still listen to them from time to time when I am in the car. These men were instrumental in shaping my view of God and helped make me into the strong believer I am today. When I started learning about reformed theology, I found a whole different set of teachers. I have spent a great deal of time reading and listening to what they had to teach me. Yet, I look back at all the hours of teaching, and see it all as incomplete. It was a good foundation but there was something missing.
I discovered what I was missing this last fall when my wife and I went to a Christian conference in San Diego. We knew a couple of the speakers and were excited to see them in person. Little did we know that we would get to be a part of something amazing. Transformative. The secret to that transformation was voices. Different voices. Different voices than the ones we had heard. Different than the ones to which we would have ever thought to listen. We heard from Lutherans, Episcopalians, Presbyterians, Baptists. We learned new things. We learned old things said in different ways that brought joy to us. Real joy. We learned that hearing the same gospel from different voices can be new and exciting every time you hear it spoken. We even learned from women. Gasp! Don’t tell anybody.
What I discovered is that I have been missing out. All my life I had allowed myself to be exposed to only a few teachers. I learned from these few voices, but they were familiar and safe. I have always thought that there were not very many good Bible teachers out there but, I am finding there are some great teachers. I should have opened myself up to their unfamiliar voices a long time ago. Now new voices have become a part of my life. I read books, blogs, listen to podcasts, follow twitter posts, etc. from these new voices. I spend part of my evening talking with my lovely wife about what I heard or read during the day and how these things should transform our lives. I am grateful for these new people, both women and men, pouring into my life, even though I don’t know them personally.
I really believe that my growth has been hindered for years by limiting myself to very few teachers in my life. Expanding the voices I listen to now has opened for me a new chapter in my life. I wish I would have done this years ago. If you are anything like I was and are only allowing yourself the opportunity to hear the same, few voices teaching you day in and day out then I would encourage you to make a change and expand your listening and reading repertoire. If you need some suggestions, ask Tammy or myself and we would be glad to help. I promise your life will be changed and you won’t be disappointed.